Indeed, research (American Journal of Health Promotion) has indicated that short bouts of up to 10 minutes can be just as beneficial (read: healthy) as longer durations. Improvements in health parameters such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar, and waist circumference were observed with short duration exercise bouts comparable to longer exercise bouts. But there is a catch: the short bouts need to add up to an approximate overall duration for the day or week as the longer bouts. In other words, what ultimately matters is not how much you exercise in one session, but rather how much you exercise for an entire week. It's the total minutes of exercise you perform for a week that matters most.
The important message here is that any exercise, no matter how brief, is better than no exercise at all. Why? Because it's the summation of exercise minutes throughout the week that really makes a difference in terms of being and staying healthy. This is good news for those who say they have little time to exercise on a daily basis. Now there's no excuse not to exercise because even up to 10 minutes of movement at a time will be beneficial.
BOTTOM LINE: Any exercise, no matter how brief, is better than no exercise in staying healthy and happy!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.